The 21-year-old is set to lead the Indian hockey team at the Men’s Junior World Cup 2021.

The name Vivek Sagar Prasad might be unknown to many. But the 21-year-old from Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh is already the proud owner of multiple distinctions. For those yet unversed with the youngster, Vivek is currently one of the most promising players in the Indian hockey team. He will be leading the Indian side in the upcoming Men’s Junior World Cup, which will begin from November 24.

Playing under the tutelage of Graham Reid, Prasad will try to guide his team to defend their title on home soil. Let’s take a look at Prasad’s notable accomplishments which makes him a player to bet on at the tournament.

5. Silver medalist at Summer Youth Olympics (2018)

The 2018 Summer Youth Olympics took place in Buenos Aires in Argentina with 12 teams vying for the top position. Despite India missing out on a gold, they displayed a strong performance, finishing with a silver at the end. The one who played a crucial role behind that was none other than Vivek Sagar Prasad.

Vivek was outstanding in the entire length of the tournament. He notched up eight goals, two of which came in the final against Malaysia in a 4-2 loss. In spite of losing out against Malaysia, his performance at the Parque Pilideportivo Roca enthralled the fans.

4. Silver medalist at Champions Trophy (2018)

Vivek Sagar Prasad is a player for the big games and his goal at the final of the 2018 Champions Trophy again proved so. The goal equalized the game at 1-1 after Australia had taken a lead. Even though India didn’t win, it helped in taking the game to penalties.

Hosted in Breda, Netherlands — the Champions Trophy saw the best six teams contesting for supremacy with teams like Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Pakistan and Argentina in the fray. It clearly showed that Vivek can hang in there with the big boys.

3. Best Young Player and Rising Star of the Year Winner (2019)

Vivek Sagar Prasad won the Best Player of the Tournament distinction at the 2019 FIH Hockey Series in Bhubaneshwar. He also won the FIH Rising Star of the Year Award in the same year. He won the award by getting 34.5 per cent of the votes and became the first Indian player to win an FIH Award.

This was no surprise as Vivek’s potential was recognized and seen from an early age. He became the second youngest player ever to debut for India at 17 years, 10 months and 22 days of age. Moreover, he was also named the FIH Young player of the Year at the 2020-21 calendar beating other hopefuls.

2. Bronze at the Asian Games (2018)

The Indian Hockey team was ruthless at the Asian Games in 2018. They piled up an impressive 76 goals in the group stages, the highest at the tournament.

Vivek Sagar Prasad was right at the centre, channeling and controlling the action from the middle. He played a crucial role to help India win 17-0, 20-0 and 26-0 against Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong respectively. As an efficient midfielder, he strengthened the defense as well as supported the offense adding to the goals he scored himself.

1. Bronze at the Olympic Games ( 2021)

India won its first Olympics hockey medal after a gap of 40 years at Tokyo 2020. The dry spell ended when India beat Germany 5-4 in their bronze medal match. This was a memorable moment for a nation that has a rich history in hockey.

Like so many other times, Vivek Sagar Prasad was again at the crux of the Indian midfield. Aside from scoring against Argentina in a 3-1 victory, he held the midfield with his stickwork maneuvering past the opposition and creating chances with every opportunity he received. His performance proved to be instrumental behind India’s long-awaited success at the Olympics.

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